Tech Plays Crucial Role in Supply Chain Optimization

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September 27, 2017

Mahendra Dedasaniya, associate director at Deloitte.

The business of today needs to understand how to upskill current supply chain resources to ensure they have a digital mind-set that will deliver the results needed for the business of tomorrow.

This is according to Mahendra Dedasaniya, associate director at professional services network, Deloitte, speaking at a digital supply network (DSN) and chief procurement officer (CPO) roundtable recently in Johannesburg.

Unpacking the findings of the Deloitte CPO survey 2017, Dedasaniya explained technology is fast evolving in the supply chain space, and adopting a digital mind-set will help management better understand and implement the company’s strategy while deriving value from data.

“In today’s world, CPOs are expected to be part of key decision-making processes such as mergers and acquisitions, corporate risk planning, introducing new products to the market, creating new revenue streams, and they should identify how DSNs can add more value to their key responsibilities,” explained Dedasaniya.

Procurement analytics software solutions facilitate automation, improve workflow and help generate valuable insights.

“If CPOs don’t implement these digital platforms, it will be very difficult for them to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain while controlling the costs. Many of the challenges which CPOs are grappling with could be resolved through implementation of DSNs.

“The key supply chain challenges which could be addressed through data analytics are the inadequate skills and competency to understand the integral effect of data, lack of visibility of supply chain end-to-end performance, challenges in providing on-time product deliveries to customers, challenges in capturing operational synergies, and many others. Data analytics help in planning and creating performance dashboards for making informed decisions,” he explained.

The convergence of business and technology in procurement, he continued, changes the skills profile requirement for supply chain managers, and organizations can prepare for these changes by upskilling the leaders and teams to be on par with the constant evolution of technology.

“The survey found that 50% of CPOs do not have adequate skills to do business partnerships, because they are not fully equipped with the right skills-sets. The amount of time companies spend on training people is less than before, which means CPOs’ skills are not aligned with different attributes required to support the business strategies. Providing training with digital platforms enables their skills and competencies to be aligned with what the business is looking for,” Dedasaniya pointed out. The role of technology will continue to increase in procurement, with some industries adopting digital faster than others, he continued.

“Local CPOs within certain consumer industries are far advanced in digital transformation than those in the manufacturing, energy and resource industries. However, SA is still behind the curve in comparison to developed countries around the globe,” he concluded.

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